Eureka3 Bulgaria, Day 1B: Team PokerStars Pro Marcin 'The Collector' Horecki

"I like to collect things," says softly spoken Team PokerStars Pro Marcin Horecki to me on the final break in play on Day 1B of the Eureka3 Bulgaria Main Event.

His urge to collect things in part explains the why the Pole, who has made two EPT final tables, finds himself in Varna. "I like to visit places I haven't been to so far and I like to collect flags." By flags he means cashes in different countries and the former international skier is pretty good at it too. "I think I have 17 different ones so far, including ones from India and San Marino. I believe that puts me 10th in the world."

He's got 32,000 in chips as level eight gets underway here in Bulgaria but should he bust out it'll be the side events rather than the beach that he'll be setting up camp in, such is his desire to add a Bulgarian flag to the portfolio he possesses.

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Marcin Horecki - flag hunter

It's a fact that partly explains how a man who tops the all-time money list for Poland and has almost $1,200,000 in lifetimes earnings also has two Micro Millions leader board titles to his name. It costs just $450 to play all 100 Micro Millions V events in the series that is taking place at the moment. "I like to collect points," says Horecki to me. "I like the challenge of winning too," leader boards then seem a perfect tonic for the Pole. "The first time I won it I started off slowly and thought I'd just see how it goes, the second time they changed the point structure a bit, but I won an event and then went for it. I won the leader board by 95 points so even if I'd only min-cashed in the event I won then I'd have still finished first."

For topping that particular chart Horecki pocketed a PCA package although it's not a place he needs to collect a flag in as he has five from there already. Not content with double victory in the Micro Millions he also took down the SCOOP low leader board in 2013, making two final tables along the way.

So it seems he's equally at home on the live or virtual felt, "I'd say I play two thirds online and one third live as live poker is illegal in Poland," he tells me. And given that a series leader board winner has to be proficient in many forms of poker it's not just hold'em that he plays. "I really like Omaha Hi-Lo and 2-7 Triple Draw. But I'm not a fan of Stud games, because you can't play as many tables when you play Stud and I don't think there's much strategy out there on it. Daniel Negreanu wrote a great chapter on 2-7 Triple Draw in Super System 2 and if you read that you're instantly a winning player at low stakes."

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Horecki - winning a leader board near you soon

But with a family and other interests such as golf and of course skiing Horecki isn't tied to his computer. "I'm not your typical poker player, I don't play 24/7. For instance in WCOOP I'll be missing some of it as a good friend is getting married."

He's enjoying his time in Bulgaria so far too, "It's a great place, I like my table and the casino is excellent." You sense that he'll only have fond memories of the place if he gets that flag though.

Tournament Update:
There's just 25 minutes left in the day, a full wrap of the day's play including who the chip leader is and a recap of the day's action will be on it's way shortly after play has finished.

Chip counts: As time ticks down it looks like Ievgen Lozinskyi, who has 125,000 is the chip leader. Other notables and their stacks are: Ivo Donev (88,000) , Simeon Naydenov (68,000), Ted Stolzenbach (19,800), Tim Davie (75,000) and PokerStars Team Online's Dale Philip has 23,400.

Eliminations: They've naturally become more frequent as the blinds have increased recent exits include: Vladimir Velikov, Phil Baker, Gancho Radkov, Jakub Kotas, Marek Blasko, Cristian Bala, Neil Raine and last year's runner-up Algirdas Saveikis.

All photos are copyright of Tomas Stacha

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour